Portland pop-punk trio the Thermals will heat up Casbah with their sound-bit brand of socio-politiking. Hutch Harris still has one of the coolest names in rock, even if his band has succumbed to numbed production and time-stamped, formulaic jobiness (write-record-tour-repeat) without a hint of conflagration. C’mon, Thermals, conflagrate! Earlier efforts Fuckin’ A and The Body, the Blood, the Machine suggested a band loaded for bear that since has opted for pot shots at its own generation with three-minute, four-chord regurgitation. I can say these things because the Thermals are bulletproof smart and better than the product. And they absolutely cook onstage. With Fullerton’s garage-rawk Mellow Cruisers Audacity (King Tuff), local fuzz ponks Octa#Grape, and “the band not the man” Dan Padilla, these’d be the sets to see Thursday night, SD.... Otherwise, you got Wesley Eisold’s dark-wave Cold Cave at the Void with sonic experimentalist Boyd Rice...Texas death-metal by Devour the Unborn darkens the Tower with Gutsaw...and “acid-blues” group Requiem for the Rockets lands at Tin Can Ale House after La Font (L.A.) and Muscle Beech [sic].
Singer/songer/guitarist and one-time Plimsoul Peter Case plays NoPark hot spot Bar Pink Friday night. Mr. Case is half of that ’70s new-pop duo with Paul Collins that gave the world the Nerves, the Breakaways, and the Beat. These days Case plays the solo-folkie circuit with indie-cred intact. The material is rich and comes with Grammy guarantees (Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John). Bootcut boogie band Deep Ellum and Twin Cities trio Gasoline Silver (“subterranean wordplay scored with electro-psych panoramas and biker-movie guitars”) open the show.... Best of the rest: from the UK, ’80s new-wave acts Bow Wow Wow and Gene Loves Jezebel will be at Bay Park bar Brick by Brick...soul-jazz sextet Greyboy Allstars check into Casbah for two nights of comfort groove...alt-rock up-and-comers Real Things Are Good will be “opaquing masses of reverb and poetic frequency” at the Tin Can Ale House after Pocket Rockets and Bloodflowers...Brooklyn bands Small Black and Heavenly Beat split a chillwave bill at Soda Bar...hard-rocking Langelenos Lords of Altamont will take down the Shakedown with Devereaux and the Embalmers...and “come whether you whine or grind,” 2 Tone ska revivalist Dave Wakeling and his English Beat will be at Belly Up for two nights, Friday and Saturday.
Anyone else mosey the stretch of sidewalk between Soda Bar and the Void two, three, sometimes seven times in a night? Yeahmetoo. This Saturday smells like one of those nights, as the Void’s got touring Texans the Well, a Sabbath-slanted psych-rock trio that’s probably a lot better live than their websounds, and Indian Jewelry, an experimental noise-rock troupe “known for its vision music and seizure-inducing stage show.” Indian Jewelry comes from that culty Houston collective Swarm of Angels and also tours/records under the name Electric Fuck All. Hm. Between the two sonic acid baths, you got SanFran folk-pop band Owl Paws as palate cleanser. Which one of these things doesn’t go with the others? ...So, you see, lots of potential to bounce from that lineup to Soda Bar, where Burning of Rome’s heady, hooky jams will headline sets after Howls, Water Liars, and Ed Ghost Tucker, all of the trad, tried, and true blues-rock persuasion and all Crawler-approved, if that means anything to ya.... Honorable mentions include folktronica femme fatale Beth Orton, who will play the all-ages Irenic behind her latest crit hit Sugaring Season...the Shakedown’s “grand reopening” offers a freebie that features hardcore locals Nihilist, those drunken punkin’ idiots D.P.I., Red Devil Squadron, and Great Electric Quest...L.A.’s staunchly independent hip-hop hit Nipsey Hussle has the mic at Porter’s Pub (get to iHussle.com for Nip’s newest mixes)...and classic-rock-radio staple Steve Miller Band will pour some “Wild Mountain Honey” on the Fair at Del Mar, which will, as it is wont to do, deep fry it and put it on a stick!
Odd-pop duo Johns Flansburgh and Linnell, aka They Might Be Giants, will be at Belly Up Sunday night. With 16 studio records to their credit, a couple Grammys, and an unprecedented creative streak that includes some of the best children’s music ever — they call it “music for the entire family” — it’s hard to recommend anything but this USDA-certified go-to show. TMBGs are pure entertainers with rock in their pocket. New York City subway buskers Moon Hooch, on their first national tour, open the show and according to tour reports have been “blowing people away with their sassy sax beats”.... Else: Goner recording artists and Ty Segal–produced Ex-Cult set up at Soda Bar with like-minded locals Octa#Grape, Shiva Trash, and Kids in Heat...Mexitronica band Lorelle Meets the Obsolete plays Til-Two after borderland goth-pop bands Dancing Strangers and Voice Actor...and Casbah’s got Free Energy, a Philly-based, ’70s style pop-rock act touring in support of this year’s Love Sign, which I really wanted to like but couldn’t help hearing Cheap Trick without the, y’know, Trick. Local barroom rockers Just Like Jenna up first.
The blues-rock troubadour and “musician’s musician” Patrick Sweany plays from his latest, That Old Southern Drag, at the Soda Bar. Fans and cohorts include Black Key Dan Auerbach and Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane. Loose Snakes slither in first.... The Tin Can’s Monday-night Country Club has that country-fried crooner/guitarist Bill Cardinal this week...while Casbah’s Anti-Monday team sets up this month’s resident alt-pop act the Steelwells with boy-girl garage-rock band the New Kinetics.
Progressive country player Junior Brown takes the stage at Belly Up Tuesday night. Brown’s known for his signature “guit-steel” double-neck guitar and his one-man-band approach to neotraditional country that rips licks from surf, Tex-Mex, blues, and swing for one stringy smorgasbord of song. Our own acoustic-blues and roots player Ben Powell will set it up.... 91X’s Loudspeaker hosts “soulful electropop” duo he typed with his eyes crossed Dr. Seahorse at the Griffin, along with alt-rock six-piece Hampton Beats and electrofunk bros known as Pal&Drome, Josh and Zach Wheeler.... Alt-country pinup Rhett Miller (Old 97’s) plays Casbah behind last year’s Dreamer disc. Where’d the British accent come from?
Humpnight hits like this: Holy Grail’s at Soda Bar with Anti-Mortem and Eukaryst for a night of furious, four-on-the-floor thrash metal.... Beach Party, Golden Beaches, Jeans Wilder, and Buddy Banter fill a summertime indie-pop bill (with some June-gloom undertones — I’m looking at you, Jeans Wilder) at the Griffin in Bay Park.... And one-hit wonders Big Country and Mike Peters of the Alarm share the stage at Belly Up after our own alt-pop throwbacks Stripes & Lines. Now bring on the f!!!ing sun, San Diego, or a I swear I’m moving to Borrego. You guys notice that Casa del Zorro’s reopened — and affordable? We gotta get some shows going on out there! Somebody look into that and report back here.
— Barnaby Monk